Topics: Education, Te Reo Māori

New apps making Te Reo Māori mainstream

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

A series of ten digital puzzles designed to introduce Māori words and phrases to children in an engaging way has been launched by Kiwa Digital, the world's leading production house for experiential digital books. The aim is to introduce children to Māori in a playful way that encourages ongoing interest.

A new series of apps are making Te Reo Māori mainstream.

Nicola Blight is a teacher at Newton Central School. Her class of 5-6-year-olds were given the opportunity to try out the games.

She says, “They're fantastic I mean this is a mainstream class and these guys are just learning how to learn English so the way that they’re so interactive with the starts blinking and everything it’s exciting them being able to hear the sounds when they click on them is really really exciting.”

The apps use everyday words that children can relate to in a playful way. They were created by Kiwa Digital with funding from Te Māngai Pāho.

CEO of Kiwa Digital, Steven Renata says, “Everybody's got a smart device of some shape of form and we know that that's where people are consuming content whether that be Facebook, YouTube, and in this case some really cool games in Te Reo Māori.”

Nicola Blight, “We’ve got a Japanese boy whose first language is Japanese and he’s just soaking it in he’s like my Te Reo speaker in the classroom I think because he’s used to already having another language so for him Māori is easier than English so he’s just soaking in every bit of learning.”

The applications are already showing positive results.

Nicola says, “When they come in the classroom they make their shoes kiss the wall it’s just a habit they’ve got in to and I just heard Ruby before when I come tomorrow I’m going to make my “hū” (shoes) kiss the wall so already she’s changing the words.”

Four games are now available for download now with the remaining 6 set to be released in the near future.

The apps are free to download and can be found at